The Government of Bogota Launches Free Online Blockchain Courses

The contents cover topics like cloud computing, immersive experience, big data, artificial intelligence, event-driven architecture, internet of things, gig economy and blockchain.

On April 27, the capital of Colombia launched a series of free online courses that cover a broad spectrum of content on new technologies, including blockchain.

Sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, the “Bogotá Aprende TIC” program looks forward to strengthening innovation and developing a path to the future of new technologies in the city.

Blockchain course contents

The blockchain course at its basic level will discuss its meaning, advantages and disadvantages, the areas in which it exercises most strongly, its entry into the financial market, the use of Bitcoin (BTC) in the crypto sphere, and the impacts on the transformation processes in digital industry companies.

During the intermediate level, the students will learn about the operation and application of blockchain in greater depth, with the understanding that “it has potentials still unexplored,” as detailed by the Mayor of Bogotá.

The course lasts four weeks and does not have a registration deadline since it will keep indefinitely online.

Although the initiative targets people residing in Bogotá, over 14 years of age, users can enroll in the course from anywhere in the world, because it is entirely virtual.

Taking advantage of the conjuncture of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bogotá’s Chamber of Commerce will also hold a free webinar on “Fintech challenges and opportunities” on Tuesday, April 28, at 10:00 AM local time (15 GMT).

The webinar was going to be an on-site conference, but it was re-scheduled as an online meeting because massive events cannot be held in the country yet.

Colombia’s blockchain current environment

Cointelegraph Español reported in February that 2019 was a “favorable” year in Colombia for the development of blockchain-based solutions within the financial sector, according to a Koibanx report.

According to the firm, for several years, various Colombian companies have relied on the benefits of blockchain for different processes, using Qubit Labs and Ecopetrol as an example.

The Company Behind Zcash Announces Proposed Solution to Trusted Setup

Electric Coin Company (ECC), which launched and supports the development of privacy-coin Zcash recently published a paper called: Halo: Recursive Proof Composition without a Trusted Setup.

On Sept. 10, ECC announced in a blog post that engineer and cryptographer Sean Bowe had discovered a way of “creating practical, scalable and trustless cryptographic proving” techniques, which claims to end a 10-year-long pursuit by the cryptography communities. He called the solution Halo.

Halo takes away the need for a ‘trusted setup’

The strategy of Halo reportedly holds the potential of compressing limitless amounts of computation, creating auditable distributed systems, building highly scalable blockchains and protecting privacy. The article reads:

“The concept is a proof that verifies the correctness of another instance of itself, allowing any amount of computational effort and data to produce a short proof that can be checked quickly.

Sean’s discovery involves ‘nested amortization’ – repeatedly collapsing multiple instances of hard problems together over cycles of elliptic curves so that computational proofs can be used to reason about themselves efficiently, which eliminates the need for a trusted setup.”

In cryptography, a trusted setup is when a set of initial parameters are created that at a later stage will be destroyed. It is called a trusted setup because one must trust the person who created the parameters to destroy them rather than keep them for future illicit gains.

The Electrical Coin Company points out that trusted setups are difficult to coordinate, could present a systemic risk and always have to be repeated for each major protocol upgrade. According to ECC, the removal of trusted setups should present a substantial improvement in safety for upgradeable protocols.

The authors of the paper, Sean Bowe, Daira Hopwood and Jack Grigg, claimed that they obtained the first practical example of recursive proof composition without a trusted setup, using only ordinary cycles of elliptic curves. They added:

“Our primary contribution is a novel technique for amortizing away expensive verification procedures from within the proof verification cycle so that we could obtain recursion using a composition of existing protocols and techniques. We devise a technique for amortizing the cost of verifying multiple inner product arguments which may be of independent interest”


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